Maddie Lebel (from left), Alisyn Alley and Madison Russell have been named recipients of the Owen Osborne Most Valuable Player Award for their performances in the regional tournaments at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. Credit: Sawyer Loftus and Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Hermon High School senior forward Maddie Lebel, Stearns High School of Millinocket senior guard Alisyn Alley and Southern Aroostook of Dyer Brook junior guard Madison Russell will be playing for state championships this weekend and their play in the Class B, C and D North Tournaments are a major reason why their teams will be vying for a Gold Ball.

All three were chosen as the recipients of the Owen Osborne Most Valuable Player Award for their performances in the regional tournaments at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

The award was established in 1994 in memory of Osborne, a former Bangor Daily News sports columnist and editor.

Lebel is joined on the Class B North all-tourney team by senior teammate Elizabeth Wyman, Old Town seniors Sydney Loring and Madelyn Emerson and Presque Isle senior Faith Sjoberg.

Lebel beat out Wyman for the MVP award.

Alley was a unanimous MVP choice in Class C and was accompanied by teammate and senior guard Makayla Anderson, Penobscot Valley of Howland junior forward Kaya Loring and, in a rare occurrence, a pair of freshmen in Penobscot Valley guard Ellie Austin and Hodgdon’s Anna Oliver.

Russell was challenged by sophomore teammate Cami Shields for the award but won by several votes. Along with the Southern Aroostook duo were three players from runner up Wisdom of St. Agatha: junior guard Abbie Lerman, junior forward-center Oliva Ouellette and sophomore guard Lilly Roy.

There were also five honorable mentions selected for all three classes.

The voting was conducted among media members and various tournament officials.

Class B

Hermon Girls Basketball’s Maddie Lebel swings the net from their victory over Old Town on Saturday during the Girls Class B North final at the Cross Insurance Center Arena. Credit: Sawyer Loftus / BDN

Lebel, who will be attending St. Joseph’s College in Standish in the fall, had 13 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in the 45-30 come-from-behind championship game victory over rival Old Town. She went 9 for 10 from the foul line in the second half. She also had three assists and used her long arms to full advantage on defense.

Lebel had 10 points in the quarterfinal win over Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield and five points and 10 rebounds in the semifinal win over Mount Desert Island.

Wyman averaged 15.3 points per game in the tournament as well as six rebounds. She was the difference maker in the win over MDI with 21 points and nine rebounds.

Loring had an outstanding tournament, averaging 13.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. She had 16 points and six rebounds in a quarterfinal win over Caribou and followed that with 17 points and five rebounds in the semifinal win over Presque Isle.

Emerson averaged 11 points per game and was a constant 3-point threat while also attacking the rim with her quickness.

Loring and Emerson were stout defenders for the Coyotes, who allowed only 35.3 points per game in their three tournament games.

Sjoberg set a Class B tournament record with eight 3-pointers in Presque Isle’s 45-30 quarterfinal win over Mount View of Thorndike and several of them were well beyond the 3-point arc. The career 1,000-point scorer also had nine points against Old Town in the semis.

Loring and Sjoberg will be teammates at Bangor’s Husson University in the fall.

Class C

On Feb. 22, 2022, Stearns’ Alisyn Alley takes the ball down the court past Sumner’s Rachel Colby in first half action of their Class C North quarterfinal game at the Cross Insurance Center.

Alley, the fourth Alley sister to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau for her career, capped a tremendous tournament by driving the lane for a pair of crucial back-to-back baskets in the fourth quarter to break a 25-25 tie and give Stearns the lead for good in its 32-30 title game win over Penobscot Valley. Her own steal set up the second basket and she finished the game with 14 points, seven steals, three rebounds and three assists.

In her three tourney games, the point guard amassed 41 points, 21 rebounds, 14 steals, nine  assists and eight blocked shots.

Anderson was a great complement to Alley with her outside shooting. She averaged 15.3 points per game and was a very efficient 3-point shooter. She had 24 points in a quarterfinal win over Sumner of East Sullivan.

Loring turned in an impressive all-around performance for Penobscot Valley with 39 points, including 21 in a quarterfinal win over Fort Kent. She also averaged three steals per game and was also a good distributor and rebounder.

Austin was a steady and composed point guard who also averaged just over eight points per game and helped anchor a relentless Howler defense that limited opponents to an average of 23.7 points per game.

Oliver played with the poise of a senior in running the Hodgdon offense and also showed a number of nifty moves as she negotiated opposing defenses. She averaged 17.5 points per game along with 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists. She was also a tough defender.

Class D

On Feb. 24, 2022, Southern Aroostook’s Madison Russell takes the ball down court for another shot in first half action of the girls Class D North semifinal game Thursday at the Cross Insurance Center. Russell scored her 1000th point in the game.

Russell was the catalyst for the Warriors in her role as the floor general. She averaged 15.7 points per game but was also a prominent rebounder, facilitator and defender. The Warriors held their opponents to just 25.3 points per game with their swarming full-court press.

Cami Shields was the beneficiary of several of Russell’s passes and lit up the Cross Center with her threes. She averaged 16 points per game and was another key component to the defense.

Ouellette was a force in the middle for Wisdom, collecting 14 rebounds and 14 points in a semifinal win over Machias. She averaged nine points per game and 10 rebounds.

Roy poured in 30 points in a quarterfinal win over Katahdin of Stacyville and followed that with 21 against Machias. She averaged 18.7 points per game and was also an effective rebounder and defender.

Lerman did an exceptional job as the Wisdom point guard and protected the ball well even against Southern Aroostook. She also produced 13 points per game.